Now that we are post-pandemic and air travel restrictions have been removed, people are ready to go on adventures and make new memories. It may be the perfect time to make plans to see some snow, swim with the dolphins, hike a mountain, or just sit on a comfy chair in a cabin in the woods and by a lake…whatever your heart desires. Wherever you choose to go, finding the best carry-on luggage that meets important criteria could be a challenge. It will need to hold essentials, keep you organized, and carry and protect those priceless souvenirs.
If you feel like you’ve missed out on some great adventures and are ready to get on a plane and go somewhere exciting and fun, you are not alone! A recent study reports that “revenge travel” may drive a surge in vacations in 2023. Planning a “revenge trip” may feel overwhelming even if it’s not your first adventure. Whether your trip is a quick getaway or an extended stay, you need the right luggage, and the best carry-on is important.
Packing everything you need for a trip can be a stressful task. A survey of 2000 people found that 39 percent of the participants leave items behind. Oftentimes travelers focus on getting the big pieces right (fitting everything in and staying under the weight limit) and the carry-on becomes the catch-all for the leftovers that didn’t fit. Sometimes a carry-on will be the only luggage taken, which requires super-efficient packing. In either case, there’s a huge risk of forgetting something.
Having the right carry-on can alleviate some of the stress and minimize the risk of leaving something important behind. There are so many options, so where do you begin your search? Don’t worry, we got you! StudyFinds has done some research to answer that. We consulted 10 expert websites and chose the best carry-on luggage that appeared most often. There are many choices and if you have a favorite that didn’t make our top five, please put it in the comments below.
The List: Best Carry-On Luggage, According To Expert Reviews
This carry-on appeared on seven of the 10 sites we visited and earned the top spot on our list!
The New York Times raves: “We’ve tested 47 bags over the past five years and are convinced that the Travelpro Platinum Elite is the best carry-on luggage for most travelers.”
Travel + Leisure says, “We found it easy to fit everything into the two main compartments and mesh zippered pockets, though we had to expand it, which makes it substantially larger.”
“This 21-inch spinner suitcase has a deluxe tie-down system and a removable fold-out suiter designed to hang clothes and prevent garments from wrinkling,” adds U.S. News & World Report. “While integrated accessory pockets and a removable TSA-compliant quart-size wet pocket provide easily accessible organization.”
Forbes, ranked this carry-on “The Best Customizable Carry-On Luggage,” and raves: “Away is one of today’s trendiest luggage brands and it’s easy to see why: The bags come in a spectrum of Instagram-worthy colors with clever bells and whistles at an attainable price point.”
Away says: “Pack it all in. Our suitcase is designed to fit more into your trip. The inside has two compartments with an interior compression system to help pack more in—one designed for your clothes, the other for items like shoes and toiletries.”
“Sleek and sophisticated, this spinner suitcase comes in a selection of colors and is a top-rated tech-friendly carry-on suitcase. Purchasers can choose from an optional ejectable power source with two USB ports, or no power source (which makes the suitcase about 1 pound lighter),” mentions U.S. News & World Report.
The Amazon description says it’s an “Amazon Choice” and is fully lined with a divider and three zippered pockets for smaller items. The telescoping handle extends and locks in place for easy rolling and steering and there are four spinner wheels. This selection also features a scratch-resistant protective hard shell and can expand up to 15 percent.
Forbes adds, “you might simply need a no-frills option like this hard-shell Amazon piece that features the basics: Four double-spinner wheels allow you to move efficiently when you need to rush to your gate and a thick outer shell protects all your belongings. The interior divider and zipper pockets mirror the features of more pricey luggage.”
“This versatile and durable carry-on is perfect for the modern traveler. It features a micro-diamond polycarbonate texture that is resistant to scratches, keeping your luggage looking great trip after trip,” says Appliances Radar, which named this carry-on “Best versatile and Durable.
Trip Savvy gives a “Best Value” ranking and says it “combines durability, capacity, and lightness to provide impressive value for money.” They continue to say, “What We Like – textured finish for superior scratch-resistance, ample packing space, even before expansion, simple yet effective organization.”
One snag Travel + Leisure found: “This is a decent option for a lightweight bag, but ultimately our testers felt some maneuverability issues were enough to keep it off our list of top picks. It didn’t turn as sharply as many others, and rolling it over carpet was a bit of a challenge.”
Travel + Leisure: “Why We Love It: A compression board makes it easy to fit everything into the zippered compartments, and there’s a removable laundry bag for dirty clothes.”
“Paravel carry-ons, available in 22- and 23-inch versions, add some prep to your steps down the tarmac. Both come equipped with frictionless, carbon steel-bearing wheels with 360-degree movement and a telescopic handle. In terms of aesthetics, each bag features the brand’s trademark stripes and vegan-leather-wrapped side handles and trim,” says CBS News.
U.S. News & World Report notes how this model is eco-friendly. “This carbon-neutral suitcase features a durable recycled polycarbonate exterior, vegan leather details and an aircraft-grade recycled aluminum handle. On the inside, the nylon lining is made from 15 upcycled water bottles with a compression board and a removable laundry bag.”
Our list provides a jump-start to your search for the best carry-on luggage to suit your needs. So, get to planning your next luxury vacation ASAP!
- Buyer’s Guide
- Appliances Radar
- Kirby Research
- US News & World Report
- Travel + Leisure
- Trip Savvy
- New York Times
- Best Offers
- CBS News
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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.